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Grizz grind down Dallas

Rieger Sayre passed for five touchdowns and Ashland gradually pulled away from Dallas for a 50-27 victory Friday in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs at Walter A. Phillips Field.

Sayre, who threw 33 touchdown passes in nine regular-season games, added to his total with a sterling performance.

The senior was 11 of 18 for 283 yards. Included was an 86-yard touchdown strike to Gabe Ekwall in the second quarter.

Ashland (9-1), the No. 6 seed, visits No. 3 seed West Albany next week. The Bulldogs dispatched 14th-seeded Redmond, 56-13.

The Grizzlies led 21-6 at halftime against the 11th-seeded Dragons.

Austin Harris hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass from Sayre, and Ekwall added a 27-yard scoring reception in the second.

After halftime, Sayre found Nolan Rinefort for 8 yards and Logan Sanford for 9 on his other TDs.

DaMario Watson scored on a 14-yard run, and Sayre chipped in with a 2-yard run to cap the Grizzlies’ scoring.

Watson gained 108 yards on 14 carries, and Sayre added 71 on 10 totes.

Ekwall had five receptions for 154 yards, and Rinefort made four catches for 77 yards.

Finn Hayes paced the Ashland defense with 11.5 tackles, including nine solos, four tackles for loss and two sacks.

Colby Johnson scored three rushing touchdowns for Dallas (6-4) and had 189 yards on the ground on 29 carries.

Dallas60714—27

Ashland714722—50

D — Johnson 3 run (kick failed)

A — Harris 43 pass from Sayre (Rinefort kick)

A — Ekwall 86 pass from Sayre (kick failed)

A — Ekwall 27 pass from Sayre (Carter pass from Sayre)

D — Johnson 4 run (Hofenbredl kick)

A — Rinefort 8 pass from Sayre (Rinefort kick)

D — Ludin 33 run (run failed)

A — Watson 14 run (kick failed)

A — Sanford 9 pass from Sayre (Rinefort kick)

A — Safety

A — Sayre 2 run (Rinefort kick)

D — Johnson 4 run (Gardner run)

Ashland High senior Gabe Ekwall with the Second Quarter Touchdown Reception past Dallas defenders John Hofenbredl (8) and Taylor Cameron (17) at Walter A. Phillips Field on Friday. (PHOTO BY: Larry Stauth Jr)
Ashland High senior Austin Harris breaks past Dallas defenses, en route to a 43-yard Touchdown Reception in the First Quarter, at Walter A. Phillips Field on Friday.(PHOTO BY: Larry Stauth Jr)